Leonard Bays


Leonard Bays

Distinguished Pioneer

Professional background

Leonard (Len) Bays (1930 – 2009) completed his university training undertaken in Lancashire and London with degrees in both mathematics and chemistry.

He initially worked for the Northwest Regional Water Authority as Chief Chemist and then was the Chief Chemist at Bristol Water from 1963 through 1983.  Thereafter, he accepted a position as Sectary General of IWSA (see below).

Major Contributions to IWA

Len Bays came to IWSA in 1983 as the first full-time Secretary General of the Association.  His appointment followed Leonard Millis’ long standing tenure as Secretary General of both The British Waterworks Association and of IWSA.

Len augmented the renewed energy of the Association found in the second generation of leaders which began in 1976 under President van der Veen.  In his new role, Len ushered in a number of important changes to IWSA throughout the Presidencies of Schalekamp, Dirickx, and Richardson. These changes included upgrading IWSA journal Aqua, modernizing the Associations standing committees related to content, adding specialty conferences and workshops and creating a better developed sense of IWSA in a regional context.

In this same time period, major changes were taking place on the global water scene, triggered by the UN declaration designating the 1980’s as “the decade of water”.  Len Bays is credited with facilitating strong action in partnership with a series of Presidents, particularly Dirickx and Richardson, in exploring and enacting new roles for IWSA in the context of the UN goals.  One element of this effort was the creation of the Foundation for Translation of Knowledge within IWSA in 1988.

Len Bays retired in 1995 and remains a highly regarded individual and Secretary General by those that were part of this important era in IWSA’s development and their successors.

Authors:  Paul D Reiter                            Contributors: Michael Rouse, Andy Richardson